“Isn’t it fun to have a real movie star on the show?” The View’s Joy Behar asked on Tuesday morning as Kevin Costner sat down beside her.
The Oscar-winning actor was there to promote his first foray into television on Paramount Network’s new drama series Yellowstone. But first, he weighed in on the biggest topic of the day: the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“You know, this is a hard thing to say, but I don’t—I’m not recognizing America right now,” Costner said to applause. “I don’t recognize its voice. I don’t recognize any individual statements. I feel people going with the flow, and there’s people right in the middle. And we’re in a really weird spot, and it takes a high level of compassion, empathy and intelligence to work our way out of this.”
“Separating people with no plan, when those children can’t even speak English,” he continued. “Can you imagine the terror? Besides just being separated? So we have to do better. We’ve been about more, we can be about more and right now we are acting really small.”
Though Costner has supported Democrats in recent years, including Barack Obama, he grew up in a conservative household and was registered as a Republican until the mid-1990s and attended some GOP fundraisers. “I don’t prefer to be known as a conservative. I’m not a Republican,” he told The Huffington Post on the eve of the 2008 election.
Eight years later, as Donald Trump was on his way to winning the Republican presidential nomination, he told Extra, “I find it embarrassing. I find it highly immature. I think America is really teetering at a low point with the way we talk to each other.”
In 2011, Costner dismissed the idea of ever running for political office himself, saying in an interview, “I’ve had a very colorful life, and I don’t care for it to be brought up by an opponent. In American politics, if you can’t defeat someone on the issues, you attack what they’ve done in their past, and, because I’ve lived a really full life, I wouldn’t want to put myself in that position.”